Market research firm Ipsos has published its latest ‘What Worries the World’ study, which questions 28 countries over their biggest concerns.
It conducted 20,019 interviews between 22 February 2019 – 8 March 2019, among adults aged 18-64, with the data weighted to match the profile of the population.
However, because of South Africa’s lower levels of internet penetration, these samples should not be considered nationally representative, and instead be considered to represent a more affluent, connected population.
The results show that most people across the world are pessimistic about the future, and think that their country is on the wrong track (58% on average).
China (94%) inspires the most confidence about its national direction with than 9 in 10 Chinese citizens stating that China is moving in the right direction. Saudi Arabia (84%) is once more in second place followed by India (73%) and Malaysia (57%).
At the other end of the spectrum, South African, French, Spanish, Turkish and Belgian nationals have the greatest apprehension about the direction taken by their country.
Just 23% of South African and French citizens consider their nations to be heading in the right direction, followed by 24% in Spain and 26% in both Turkey and Belgium.
The study found that the majority of people around the world worry most about the following things:
- Financial/political corruption (34%),
- Unemployment (33%),
- Poverty/social inequality (34%),
- Crime and violence (31%), and
- Healthcare (24%).
South Africa follows these international trends – with the country ranking highest (69%) for its concerns about financial and political corruption.
Other major concerns include unemployment and jobs (57%), and crime and violence (59%).
Below are the biggest worries in the world right now, and how South Africans rank them:
|Rank||Concern||Percentage of South Africans|
|2||Crime and violence||59%|
|3||Unemployment and jobs||57%|
|4||Poverty and social inequality||31%|
|11||Rise of extremism||4%|
|12||Threats against the environment||3%|
|15||Maintaining social programmes||1%|
|16||Access to credit||1%|